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Exp Neurol. 1984 Apr;84(1):74-97.

Habituation of human limbic neuronal response to sensory stimulation.


Hippocampal, parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdalar neuronal responses to visual and acoustic stimuli were analyzed during trains of several hundred stimulus repetitions as part of an investigation of sensory pathways to medial temporal lobe structures in complex-partial epilepsy patients who were being monitored with depth electrodes. Ten percent of more than 500 single and multiple units tested were responsive to simple sensory stimuli. The majority of the responsive units were recorded in the posterior parahippocampal gyrus (HG) during visual stimulation. Although neurons in pes hippocampi (PH; Ammons's horn) were also responsive to photic stimuli, no visually responsive units were found in amygdala. Very few units were responsive to acoustic stimuli, and these were found only in PH and amygdala, and not in HG. Significant trends of increase or decrease in response amplitude during trains of stimuli were found in all acoustically responsive units. Significant trends of visual response amplitude increase or decrease were found in 20% of PH units, and in 44% of HG units. Mean latencies of acoustically responsive units were longer than those of visually responsive units, and latencies of PH sensory units showing decremental response were longer than nondecremental PH units. Rate of response decrement was usually linear for acoustic responses and exponential for visual responses. The response dynamics of medial temporal lobe neurons are compared with those described in the animal limbic system and are related to habituation of human sensory evoked scalp potentials.

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